20 year old Eiji Miyaki arrives in Tokyo on a mission to find the father he has never met. He finds a job working in the lost property office of a station and a room to live in above a video shop. Staking out the office of the lawyer who knows his father, he fantasies about storming in and confronting the lawyer and meets a waitress Ai Imajo with a beautiful neck who he later dates and falls in love with. Wandering alone around video arcades he meets wealthy Daimon and together they pick up two girls on a double date and Eiji loses his virginity (in a tribute to Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami). Next Eiji is involved in a blood bath with yakuza gangsters who know his fathers whereabouts and only just escapes with his life. Daydreaming and lovable Eiji dwells on the death of his twin sister and on his alcoholic mother who abandoned them both. He hides from the yakuza in an unremarkable house and reads tales that the owner has written. After placing an advert in a Tokyo paper appealing for his father to come forward he is visited by a private detective who is mixed up in a human organ stealing yakuza scam. He gets to meet his grandfather who gives him a journal about his days in the war as a torpedo pilot. Eiji scrapes through more encounters with the yakuza, never quite gets it together with Ai and is reconciled with his mother but does have a fleeting encounter with his father. This wonderful book is a coming of age, techno gangster thriller mixed with dreams and even reveals the meaning of life! A worthy successor to Ghostwritten.
This report prepared by John Marcel